The Mozambican customs service on Monday destroyed four tonnes of frozen chickens that had entered the country illegally and were found to be unfit for consumption.
There were 3,990 chickens, each weighing 1.1 kilos, packed into 399 boxes. Customs seized them in Namaacha district, near the border with Swaziland, about three weeks ago, according to a report in Tuesday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”.
The chickens had come from Swaziland, but had apparently evaded the official border crossing and had been smuggled into the country. When the smugglers found they were being pursued by an armed customs unit, they abandoned the truck and fled into the bush.
Nonetheless, Customs was able to identify the owner of the merchandise, and sent him a summons, which he has so far ignored.
Tests on the chickens, undertaken in laboratories of the Ministry of Agriculture, showed that they contained a high level of dangerous bacteria, and thus were unfit for consumption. Customs believed it had no option but to incinerate the chickens.
The chickens had a customs value of 403,700 meticais (about 10.600 US dollars), and should have paid around 163,000 meticais in customs duties.
The importer of this illicit merchandise will be liable to pay a heavy fine, and the Customs Tribunal could even sentence him to a prison term.